During the hiring process, you may find that some applicants may falsify information on their resumes. In order to verify the information provided by job candidates, many hiring managers and human resources directors request an employment verification letter from the applicant's past employers. A number of facts may be requested in the verification letter, including the employment start and end dates for the candidate, his position and salary. It's important to receive permission from the candidate before requesting this information.
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Call in the top applicants for the position you are filling. Schedule the applicants' interviews at least two or three weeks before you need the position filled; this allows for the time it takes to send out employment verification letter requests, and receive them back.
Create employment verification letter request forms. This can be completed in a word processing program on the computer for easy printing of duplicate copies. On the form, include space to write the name, address and contact person at an employer. Also include a space for the job candidate to write her signature, allowing you to contact a past employer and authorising the employer to release her information. Add a list of all the items you may want to request from the employer, including salary, position, start and end date, and "other." Print the forms on your company letterhead.
Interview each of the top applicants. During each interview, ask the employee if she will grant you permission to contact her past employers included on her resume. Make sure she has included the correct contact information for that employer on her resume, depending on how you plan to send the request (e.g., e-mail, fax, U.S. post office, etc.). Have the candidate sign and date each request form you plan to send out.
Check off the items from your list on which you'd like the previous employer to report. For some employers, this may include salary and position, and for others, you may want only to confirm that the candidate actually worked there.
Send out each of the employment verification letter request forms along with a note, asking the employer to send back a letter on their company letterhead, including the information you've requested. Also include a date by which you need to receive their verification letter, along with your name and contact information should any questions come up.
Tips and warnings
- It is very important to gain permission from a potential employee before requesting information about his past employment. Failure to do so violates the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP) and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).
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